'I don't feel it's necessary' - Taoiseach refuses extra garda protection after recent wave of anti-water charges protests
The Taoiseach declined extra garda protection following a recent wave of anti-water charges protests against ministers and the President.
Enda Kenny told an Oireachtas committee today that he did not feel that extra personal security is necessary. “I’m the kind of person who’s out and about a lot and similar facilities that have been provided over the years have not been provided in this case,” he said.
In recent months concerns have mounted over security arrangements for senior politicians after a series of protests at events attended by the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and other Cabinet members.
Also there have been demonstrations outside some minister’s homes and last month President Higgins was subjected to abuse when leaving an engagement in north Dublin.
Mr. Kenny told the Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming that he didn’t believe he required extra security. “The gardaí were more than anxious to provide the security facilities but I declined those. They’re available if they’re required,” he said. “I didn’t feel they were necessary and I don’t think they’re necessary now either.”
He also expressed concern at the “disgraceful behaviour” of some protesters who disrupted Michael D Higgins’s visit to Colaiste Eoin in Finglas last month.
“I consider that to be disgraceful behaviour and I admire the President’s courage and the method by which he dealt with that”.
Kenny said that security was a matter for the President’s office to discuss with An Garda Síochána but said that he would assume that it would be provided if requested.
Kenny was appearing before the Oireachtas select sub-committee on the Department of the Taoiseach to discuss his department’s budget for 2015.
He said that the Department of the Taoiseach would be deploying increased resources to deal with the implications of the potential exit of Britain from the EU in terms of personnel.
Ahead of the 1916 Rising commemorations, Kenny said the main centenary commemoration next year which will take place at the GPO on Easter Sunday, 27 March, with the National Day of Commemoration scheduled for July 12 in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.